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THE Groans of France In SLAVERY, Gaſping after LIBERTY.Done out of French.

WHEN ſuch a powerful Confederacy was form'd againſt our King, We who are not ſo much as ſuffer'd to ſpeak of Liberty our ſelves, did hope that our Deliverance was at hand: But now, after ſix Years Experience, finding the Policy of a Neighbour Nation (from whom alone, under God, we expect Exemption from our Servi­tude) ſo much off the Hooks, that thoſe among them2 who ſit at the Helm, and approach neareſt to their Brave KING, do more mind Enriching themſelves, though at the expenſive Ruine of their Fellow-Subjects, than Conquering their Enemies. Now, we think it time to ſpeak, and, if poſſible, by our lamentable Groans and Cryes, to awaken thoſe who are, we hope, deſign'd by God Almighty to ſet us miſerable Creatures in Statu quo, and to make us truly Franks again.

Can any Chriſtian, without Remorſe and Pity, hear the Miſeries of our Poor, that wander about the Streets, even of Paris it ſelf, to rake the Dunghills for dead Horſes, wherewith to feed their raging Stomachs? The Form and Mildneſs of our ancient Government is quite loſt; and although neither. We nor our Anceſtors have ever yet given the King any one authentick Title to our Privileges; yet we have a Yoke impos'd upon us, that is more cruel and inſupportable than that which the Grand Signior and Great Mogull impoſe upon their Slaves.

Our Tyrant would, if poſſible, hinder us from ſeeing Liberty enjoyed by others; which has oblig'd him for ſo many Years to endeavour, with ſo much Obſtinacy, to make the Engliſh and Dutch our Companions in Sla­very. He cannot bear the Neighbourhood of a Nation that has always aſſerted its Privileges with a great deal of Vigour: Nor is he leſs prejudic'd againſt another, that had the Courage to ſhake off its Fetters. But ſince he has failed to Enſlave Them, we hope the time is come when Providence will ſet Ʋs Free; for all good Frenchmen are in love with the Conſtitution of the Engliſh Govern­ment, and hope, e're long, to ſettle one like it at Home; which, after all, will be only our own Ancient Form of Go­vernment3 reſtor'd: Our Court-Penſioners in England and Holland, as we hear, give out, That we are enamour'd of our Bondage, in love with our Chains; and like a Pack-Horſe pleas'd with his Bells, goe merrily with the Burthen that is laid upon us; and that our Riches are inexhauſtible, and We as able and willing to part with our Money, as the Engliſh and Dutch are to part with theirs. But we hope our Neighbours will not be impos'd upon ſo groſsly: Though we have loſt our Liberty, we are not utterly bereav'd of com­mon Sence. The Pack-Horſe will not carry his Load very cheerfully, if he have not Provender and Hay at Night, as well as his Bells in the Day. Can the Confederates be ignorant of the Diſſatisfaction of the Nobility, Gentry, and Third Eſtate, which is ſo notorious in Paris, and all the Great Cities, eſpecially in this Kingdom? Have they not heard in England and Holland, how vaſtly our King's Revenues are diminiſh'd? And as our Nobles have not Money to ſpare for Wine, ſo our Common People want a Denier to buy 'em Bread. Our Fields lie Untilled, and are almoſt turn'd to Deſarts; an infinite number of People are dead of Cold, Hunger, and other Di­ſtempers, now Epidemical in France; thoſe Towns which we have known in a flouriſhing Condition, and well Peopled, are now ruin'd and abandon'd by their Inhabitants, moſt of the Tradeſmen being gone for Soldiers, or reduced to Beggary.

What ſhall we do now? Whereby ſhall we put an end to all this Miſery? Shall we entreat the King to call a General Meeting of the Eſtates of the Realm? But who dares undertake to preſent our Petition to him? Shall the Princes of the Blood? There is not4 one amongſt them that dares offer his Majeſty the leaſt Remonſtrance? Shall the Dukes and Peers of France, or the Officers of the Crown? They would moſt certainly be rewarded with a Lodging in the Baſtile; and there are too many baſe Complyers, that would help to drag them thither. Should the Parliament of Paris go in a Body, with their Primeir-Preſident before them; the Heads of that Aſſembly wou'd be puniſh'd as Seditious Traytors. Shou'd it be preſented by the Inhabitants of Paris, and the reſt of the great Cities, we ſhould ſee Gibbets erected in every Corner of the Streets, and the Troops of the Houſhold ſent to devour that ſmall Pittance of Main­tenance which is yet left to maintain their Wives and Children. Our poor and ill pay'd Officers wou'd barbarouſly pillage the Houſes of thoſe Perſons, who could be accus'd of no other Crime, than endeavour­ing to preſerve that little remainder of Liberty which they ſeem ſtill to enjoy.

Formerly, whenever our Kings acted contrary to the Privileges of the Kingdom, the Nobility and People appeal'd to the General Aſſembly of Eſtates, and joyn'd in Leagues to oppoſe them: But now we have none left in France, but Young Lads, or extreme Old Men, or Shadows of a Middle Age, ſo fatigued for the Glory of our Grand Monarch, that they are ſent Home to be recover'd and nurs'd up, or rather, to encreaſe our Miſery, by augmenting the Number of our Indigents, Our Noblemens Houſes want their Lords and Maſters, who have been ſubtilly en­gaged into that Chargeable way of living, that they are now forc'd to make the Camp their Refuge, and5 leave their miſerable Ladies to be attended by an Equipage fit only for an Hoſpital.

Our In-land Cities have no Cannon to defend them; they are ſent to mend the Barriers, and fortifie the Frontiers of our Maritime Towns: And our Burghers are not ſuffer'd even to repair our decayed Walls; 'tis enough for them to erect Statues for the King, or to cauſe Inſcriptions to be engraven in Ho­nour of that Immortal Man!

The Fortifications and numerous Garriſons of Caſal, Strasburgh, and other Frontier Places, have as well drein'd our Men as Money, to that degree, that our Ban and Arrier-Ban muſt be compoſed of Women, or Non-Entities. But one great Fetch we have, and that is, to obtain Contribution from our Friends in England, or Ranſom for Priſoners taken in Prizes, whereby we bribe ſome in all the Courts of the Con­federates, ſo as to prevail that the War ſhall be drawn out in length, and their numerous Armies kept only to amuſe our Frontiers, their Efforts ſpent in Bombing our Maritime Towns; But not a word of Invading our undefenſive Continent: No; ſhould ſuch mea­ſures be taken, the War wou'd ſoon be ended. But then thoſe that made Merchandiſe of their ſeveral Countries and Commonwealths, would have their Trade deſtroy'd. How glorious a Part we acted, when the Engliſh made their laſt Deſcent! Their Or­ders were poſitive to land at an appointed Place; and we not daring to truſt our faint diſpirited Ban and Arrier-Ban, detach'd old Soldiers from the Frontiers, and with Thirty thouſand old Soldiers, and a good Tire of Cannon, kill'd and put to flight Five hundred6 Engliſh-men. 'Tis like one of the Victories of Lewis the Fourteenth.

But let the Engliſh have a care; for if they e're ſhou'd land, although the beſt Men of our Militia are ſent away to re-inforce our Army on the Fron­tiers; and though our Towns are Peopled rather with Skeletons than Men; our Brave Nobles abſent; our Cities without Men, Walls or Cannon: yet our grand puiſſant Monarch, accompany'd with his Bro­ther of Great-Britain (Hero's of equal approved For­titude) with Regiments of Miſtreſſes, and Troops of Financiers, and all the ſtately Statues and Figures of our Terreſtrial Deity, will be ready to oppoſe them. Who knows but the Statues may turn Taliſ­mans? and the Blind and the Lame may confound the Engliſh and Dutch?

But alas, this is not a time for Mirth! Oh, that we had but ſome Carrier Pigeons to ſend into England, to let thoſe Brave Men, who have ſo often recover'd their near loſt Liberty, know, that we are not ſuch Mad-men as they are made believe; we are not de­ſirous to perpetuate our Slavery: If they will leave us free to enjoy our Religion (which indeed we do not deſerve, conſidering what Properties we ſuffer'd our ſelves to be made, in Perſecuting thoſe of the Re­formation,) if they will lay aſide that fond Deſign, of making us a Province under them, but will allow us to chuſe a King of our own, who yet ſhall pay ſome ſmall Acknowledgment to their Monarch: and if they will be ſure not to fail us, and leave us to the Wheel and Gibbet for our Good-will to them; then they ſhall ſee the braveſt of our Armies deſert,7 our exhauſted Kingdom make them a Noble Preſent of their Gratitude; which ſhall make all Taxes and Exciſes ceaſe with them, and Europe ſhall once more enjoy Tranquillity; their Trade and ours ſhall be reſtor'd, and not interfere; and we will turn our Ar­mies and our Fleets againſt the Enemies of the Chri­ſtian Name, or againſt thoſe baſe Neuters, who have ſo long contributed toward our more than unſuf­ferable Bondage.

But where ſhall we obtain thoſe Carrier-Pigeons? I have it, Tont pro Tont. I will go a Privateering; that will delude our Argus: or I will beſpeak ſome Wool unwrought, or pretend a Meſſage to the Male­contents, the Jacobites of Great-Britain: and if they will not hearken to this Call, which will put an end to their Miſeries and our own; then I will cry out with Tiberius, O Homines ad ſervitutem paratos! I will ſhake the Duſt from off my Feet, and throw my ſelf headlong off ſome Gliff, into the Sea, to be a Meal for ſome of Neptune's Subjects, rather than longer endure the Tyranny of Lewis the Fourteenth.

Before I conclude; one late Accident accurring to my mind, I will relate: An Engliſh Veſſel, either a Privateer or a Merchant-man, happening lately to be wreckt on our Coaſt, about forty of its Crew got on ſhore, well arm'd, many of them, in their Boats; and another Spy-Boat, having had the fortune to eſcape not far off, two or three happening to come in ſight of thoſe Engliſh, and to be purſued by them, who poſted away to Paris, to which they were bound, brought the dreaded News, That the Confederates were Landed. Which alarum'd Paris and Verſailles8 with different Sentiments: The firſt wiſh'd that they brought Bread and Succour: The other dreaded the Report, and were ſtruck with ſuch a Pannick Fear, that I verily believe, had Two hundred bold Men landed with good ſtore of Proviſions, they would have gather'd up our Half-ſtarv'd Countrymen, and encreas'd like a Snow-Ball; and our Illuſtrious Mo­narch (the Plague of all Mankind) wou'd have ended our Miſery by a French Abdication.


About this transcription

TextThe groans of France in slavery, gasping after liberty. Done out of French
Extent Approx. 12 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A85731)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 154172)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2403:2)

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Bibliographic informationThe groans of France in slavery, gasping after liberty. Done out of French 8 p. s.n.,[London? :1698]. (Caption title.) (Imprint from Wing (CD-ROM edition).) (Reproduction of original in the Folger Shakespeare Library.)
  • France -- History -- Louis XIV, 1643-1715 -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2013-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A85731
  • STC Wing G2056A
  • STC ESTC R228402
  • EEBO-CITATION 99896373
  • PROQUEST 99896373
  • VID 154172

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